Skip to main content

Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

See other formats


I have heard of one lady*, who had not quite so great a veneration for her husband's tomb, but preferred lying alone in one, to'lying on his left hand ; perhaps she had an aversion to the German custom of left-handed wives. I met yesterday with a pretty little dialogue on the subject of constancy ; 'tis between a traveller and a dove:
Le Passant. Que fais tu dans ce ~bois, plaintive Turturelle ?
La Tourterelle. Je gemis, fai perdu ma compagne fiddle.
Le Passant.
Ne crains tu pas qiie I'oiseleur Ne te fasse mourir comme elle ?
La Tourterelle. Si ce n'est lui, ce sera ma douleur.
'Twould have been a little more apposite, if she had grieved for her lover. I have ventured to turn it to that view, lengthened it, and spoiled it, as you shall see.
P.—Plaintive turtle, cease your moan ;
Hence away!
In this dreary wood alone Why d'ye stay?
T.—These tears, alas! you see flow For my mate!
P.—Dread you not from net or bow His sad fate?
* In his Description of Strcuwbefry Bill, Horace Walpole mentions a portrait by Vandyke, in his possession, of ' Francis Bridges, daughter of the Lord Chandos, and second wife of Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter, on whose left hand she refused to lie on his tomb in Westminster
Abbey.' According to Collins1 Peerage the inscription on Lord Exeter's tomb (in the Chapel of St. John tlie Baptist, inWestminsterAbbey)states that his two wives are buried with him. The second wife, however, was in fact buried in Winchester Cathedral.